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CIA operated secret prisons in Poland, Romania: COE investigator

[JURIST] The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) established and operated secret detention centers [JURIST news archive] in Romania and Poland between 2002 and 2005, according to a report [PDF text; Appendix 1, JPG; Appendix 2, JPG; Appendix 3, PDF; press release; press conference recorded video part 1, part 2] adopted Friday by the Legal Affairs Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) [official website]. The report, compiled by PACE-appointed rapporteur and Swiss senator Dick Marty [personal website], accuses certain European governments like Germany and Italy of blocking inquiry into the prisons by "invoking the concept of state secrets." The report also concludes that the CIA directly ran secret detention facilities in Europe with the "requisite permissions, protections or active assistance" of European governments, and that the framework for the cooperation was developed secretly among NATO members following the United States' invocation of Article 5 [NATO report]. Poland's Ministry of Foreign Affairs immediately rejected the allegations, denying the presence of any secret detention facilities in Polish territory. The European Commission [official website], the executive body of the EU, called on EU members to immediately launch impartial investigations. AFX has more. AFP has additional coverage.

Last Thursday, six leading human rights groups reported [JURIST report] that the US is still holding at least 39 detainees in secret prisons. In February, the European Parliament condemned European states [JURIST report], including Austria, Italy, Poland, Portugal, the UK, Germany, Sweden, Spain, Ireland, Greece, Cyprus, Denmark, Turkey, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Bosnia, and Romania, for their cooperation in illegal secret prisons and extraordinary rendition flights [JURIST report]. The groups also accused several states of obstructing European probes into the secret prison allegations, including Poland [JURIST report], which allegedly housed the largest CIA secret detention facility in Europe [JURIST report]. President Bush acknowledged the existence of the secret CIA facilities [JURIST report] last September, but provided no details on their location or operation. AP has more.

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